Synopses & Reviews
Playground songs and classroom songs, silly songs and sweet songs, wake-up songs and bedtime songs . . .
Every day, children, parents, friends, brothers, and sisters sing songs to one another.
Nina Crews brings her energetic style of illustration to this collection of thirty-four perennial favorites. From "Miss Mary Mack" (watching fireworks from her balcony) to "London Bridge" (built by a brother and sister in the living room) to "Skip to My Lou" (in a rolling green park), the songs make this companion to the acclaimed The Neighborhood Mother Goose a treasure for every child in every neighborhood.
"As with The Neighborhood Mother Goose, Crews pairs traditional songs and nursery rhymes with vibrant photographs and digital collages of children in a fresh urban setting. A boy plays with a toy train while waiting with his mother on a subway platform on a spread that displays the lyrics to 'I've Been Working on the Railroad'; three tiny children play near an enormous ceramic teapot for 'I'm a Little Teapot'; and a young 'Miss Mary Mack' (wearing the requisite black dress with silver buttons) watches elephants fly amid Fourth of July fireworks. A jubilant and contemporary treatment of well-known classics. Ages 3 8. (May)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
A collection of songs, both familiar and lesser known, illustrated with photographs in a city setting.
About the Author
Nina Crews drew inspiration from her Brooklyn neighborhood in creating the artwork for The Neighborhood Mother Goose.
Nina's best-selling titles include One Hot Summer Day
(Sesame Street Parents "Kid Hits" selection) and Snowball
(a CCBC choice). Twice her acclaimed works have been selected as "Best of the Best" books of the year by the Chicago Public Library.
Nina Crews grew up in New York City. After graduating from Yale University in 1985, she worked in commercial animation production and contributed illustrations to magazines, including the Village Voiceand Parenting.
In her own words....
"I look back to move forward on a new children's book. I try to remember a much younger me and recreate some of the things that delighted me then. These pleasures were often quite simple, perhaps the shape or taste of something or the colors that it evoked—and everything was set against a noisy, busy, city backdrop.
"I was raised in New York City. I think I've always loved it. There may have been more tall buildings than trees, but I enjoyed the city and all its variety. The people, the neighborhoods, all of the city's quirkiness were endlessly exciting.
"I started taking pictures at an early age, and the city was my first subject. I grew up in a family of artists and saw the children's-book business firsthand. My parents, Donald Crews and Ann Jonas, always encouraged my sister and me in all our art projects. I had wellrounded art training in high school but became more focused on photography in college. Since then I have been working in commercial animation production and doing freelance photo-collage illustration.
"I love making collages. Some of my favorite artists—Romare Bearden, Hannah Hoch, and Man Ray—combined photography and collage. Collage allows me to use photography playfully and to tell a story on many levels.
"I enjoy photographing children. The interaction always adds something to the project; their performances always give me new ideas. I try to keep the photography session as loose as possible. Collaging the images allows me a great deal of freedom. Basically, almost anything can happen.
"Writing the text is another kind of challenge. I try to find a good balance between the written story and the visual story. Each one should help the other. Picture books are the combination of two forms of poetry, written and visual, and their flow should be musical. I find myself reading a lot of poetry while I work on ideas.
"As a child I loved books and I loved to look. The more there was to see in any one image, the better. I also loved books that were set in city places. I hope that a new generation will get these same pleasures from my books."